Monday, April 30, 2007

Mr. Angry

Yep - Mr. Angry got out and threw his toys out of the pram today - in a nice sort of way. I'm just getting frustrated that I can't get this lot behind me and move on. The trouble still is that I'm not in charge or control and so every time I think I can move forward someone comes along with their size 9s on and kicks me back down again.

I'm not giving up but it is just so annoying and frustrating trying to get out of the place I am in now. It is taking ages to get to somewhere that can be described as even ground so that I can stop, take a breather and then reassess and move on.

Tomorrow is going to be my day and lets see if they can sod that up for me - I wouldn't put it past them to try.

Today I have mostly been

P1ssed off with being ill.

I know I'm lucky to have got this far in my life (almost 50 - not yet) with only minor stuff but it makes you think.

I mean, I have now been to the GPs surgery more times in the last 9 months than the whole of the previous 20 years put together! I know the place as if it were my front room and I don't want to see it every week - thank you.

I can't complain, I don't have a cancer that (now) is going to take me out before my time. I know it means I've got to be seen x times a year for (possibly) the rest of my life.

I don't want you to be sorry for me or to pour sympathy on me, that isn't what this blog or this particular post are about either.

It's just that a year ago - I was Joe Average, no problems, hadn't seen the GP in years, happily going about my day to day life, no strain on the public purse or the NHS or anything else and suddenly, I can't get well, I can't get a job, every time I get tested something else happens. I'm unemployed and who would employ someone who for the next few months cannot guarantee a solid five days work a week anyway.

It will soon be two years since I last had a holiday - you know a real one - relaxing for a couple of weeks in the sun. I have GOT to put that right as well - will the Physicians and experts leave me alone long enough to do that. Why do they call it practice?

I am having (as you may notice) one of the "Bad Days" you are bound to get. Suddenly you really just say oh hell, I really don't want to be ill, this has gone on far too long and I am SO fed up!

Of course, the logic says - hey - you are going to be downgraded, it isn't anywhere near life threatening anymore, it isn't something nasty or terminal. So you have a blood pressure issue, thousands of people never know and die early or suffer a stroke. Hey, you are pre-diabetic - it doesn't mean anything more than a big warning signal so stop your whinging and get on with it :-) Some people with diabetes never get to know until it is too late, you can do those changes you need to do, they can keep their eye on you and you won't get the side effects of that.

THERE - That told me :-)

You see there are two sides (possibly more) to this. Today is a black day, I really thought I had "done enough" to get myself into the good books and yet obviously not.

then my brain says "Can you really wash away the sins & excesses of your youth with 6 weeks exercise and good living?" Well PUNK, do you feel lucky? :-)

Can you atone for 25 years burning both ends of the candle?

Anyway, I'm sort of beginning to rationalise this out now but I have felt pretty annoyed with "things" in general this afternoon. It is so much more about keeping your head on an even keel really. As I have probably already said somewhere, I just got fed up with being ill today. It was interesting as I was told that, you look fitter than you have for years (which is true), I've lost weight, my face looks thinner, my neck too and of course my waist also tells the tale.

This post is a warts and all one. You probably cannot understand how I'd feel wretched with the good news about the cancer and yet, the whole package, no job, blood pressure, pre-diabetic, cancer, treatment, trying to secure work that will allow you to have this sort of time off, not providing for your family, insurance still not paying out after 7 months etc - you can perhaps see that any one of these can disturb the equilibrium of the day.

Again, I'm OK - I don't need anyone sympathising with me or anything like that. This is the way it is.

Blood Results

Sh1t. Doesn't look good still. Will have to see what the Doc says later in the week, it is outside of the usual levels for blood glucose tolerance. The limit for my tablets (Creatine) is reached so I guess they will keep on feeding me those.

I'm a bit disappointed with the results - they are nowhere near as bad as before but it looks like something will have to be done I suppose. I hope it isn't all the fruit I've been eating - that will be a turn up for the books.

Well at least I am not as devastated by the news this time. I shall have to call them later in the week to see what they want me to do.

Did I say I was taking charge this week - think again.

Bye Bye Laptop

Oh well that is the end of it. Bye Bye Laptop, happy days banging on the keys in darkened hotel rooms trying to complete impossible targets and PowerPoint presentations, trying to get wireless connectivity and failing as no one had really subscribed to it.

I'm quite sad now that it is all over but then again, I have a lot to go for if I think about it and perhaps it is for the best to move on and forget about it.

Turns the page - tomorrow is another day - sigh!

Time Gentlemen Please

In a few moments that will be the last piece of my past employment severed. I'll meet up with my old colleague and he will pick up my Laptop, bag and all the accessories.

And that will be it. If ever I was destined to be in a particular job - it was that one, I'd got years of experience and have been a fan of the software for years. I knew the people, I knew what customers would be looking for and I knew what I could do to make the difference.

As they say, it is no use crying over spilt milk but I really hadn't thought of anywhere else I'd rather have been. Perhaps there will be something coming along there but I cannot hang on for it in reality. I reckon that they will have to move fast or I will go and sort out something else to do.

Tomorrow - Big Day for me

Last September I had the huge disappointment of having to go into Hospital and being unable to carry out my duties as a Sword Bearer. Strange eh?

Well, I was made an Active Officer of my Masonic Province last year and I carry the Sword ahead of the Provincial Grand Master on special occasions. Last September was to be my first one and the operation coincided. Tomorrow is the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting at Freemasons Hall in Great Queen Street London and I will be leading the PGM into the huge Grand Temple carrying the sword. It will be a culmination of 24 years of Masonry. You only get to do an active office like this for one year and tomorrow is a big day. Having happened to have carried this particular sword once before it is really heavy and so I'm glad that I have been "working out" these past three months or so! There are normally a thousand or more people there.

So - a big deal for me and one I am really proud about. There have been, in our Lodge three Sword Bearers as far as I know in 73 years so not a bad record. Now I just hope that I don't trip up or anything like that.

Unfortunately you don't get to carry the sword around outside. It would be fun carrying it around London? I could be doing my Highlander impersonations "There can be only one Highlander!" and you wouldn't have any problems at all getting a seat on the Underground on the way home!

I also have to wear a tail coat which is good fun. I will not be wearing that up on the train though either.

The start of an interesting week

A lot is due to happen this week. For one, I should hear from the GP today about my Kidney function and whether I stay on these BP tablets. Next I should have an appointment to see the Consultant and find out what lies in store next. After that, I should hear about my potential diabetes or the glucose levels in my blood test. With a bit of luck I have a day or two worth of work to fit in as well and today I lose the last remnant of my previous job.

Tomorrow I am out all day up in London - I'll tell you more about that later and Wednesday evening I am out as well.

In between all of these I have to organise the meal for Wednesday evening and also to work through a pile of things that must be done by Friday and on top of that chase up a load of people who are due to get back to me. The trouble with that is that they think they are the only one who hasn't responded. They don't realise how much hassle they cause me having to ring around after them.

Slowly dawned on me today

That I need to wrestle away the hold that bladder cancer has had on me for the past 9 months. I think it is getting to the point where, given the right sort of news from the Consultant, I can start to take back my life and to start being in charge of my disease rather than it being in charge of me.

I've had to do everything I have been asked to, when I was asked to and it has run my life for me these past 9 months. Everything I have done has been to someone else's calling and timing and now, I feel, it is coming to the next stage. It doesn't mean I've got to be any less respectful of the disease but what I DO need to do is to get my life back and to get on and do things not using the excuse (that probably isn't the right word) that I need to take it easy, I am recovering, I don't know if I will be seen that day and so on. There comes a point in time when you just cannot continue thinking or acting like that.

That time is rapidly approaching I think. The GP I hope will have come to a decision about me, my tablets, my possible diabetic readings and the Hospital will pronounce their findings and my next batch of treatments. That I hope will be this week. I will then have a very good idea about the upcoming treatments and I can then go and plan accordingly. I hope/expect 6 BCGs again but they'll tell me about that and then I really hope that I get 6 months rest rather than 3 months before they need to do a peek and poke - if they do then I hope it is a flexible rather than a rigid cystoscopy (local rather than general anaesthetic).

There are lots of other things that need to be picked up and done and I haven't done them and that is also catching up on me too.

Paying for it now though

It is just gone midnight and I'm wide awake and there is probably something going on. I don't feel unwell or anything in fact I feel fine. I can't quite get the shift in time zone I appear to have gone through :-) Perhaps a space portal? Probably not!

It is strange - wide awake at this time of night, happy to sleep late, catching up or just something unexplained.

Later today (as it now is) my old work colleague is coming around to see me and we will have a beer and a chat and then he will take away my laptop and all the bits that came with it. It will be sad to see it go but perhaps another thing I can draw a line under and move on?

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Which I can presently do for England - either it is something to do with the healing process or I'm just a lazy so and so.

It is 11:30 and I got an early night and so a good 11/12 hours sleep plus a bit of lying in time. It is strange that I could do that sort of thing occasionally but now I could happily do it every day.

It is strange I have to say, I'd prefer to be up and doing something.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Time for a barbecue

At least it gets everyone together these days. Daughter 2 seems to spend a lot of time contemplating the inside of her room these days. Daughter 1 has grown out of that. In fact she went out driving with her mum today. You don't want to know how much the insurance costs for a learner driver these days.

We have made a deal that I don't get involved in this sort of driving experience thing. I'd be screaming "Watch out for that car", "Careful of that pedestrian" and my daughter would probably be saying "We haven't actually got off the drive yet Dad!"

So we have insured the little car. Mine stays where it is and is driven by me!

Did the Earth move for you?

It did for us apparently this morning.

Mind you we are a fair few miles away from the epicentre and at that time in the morning it could easily have been passed off as wind :-)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Despatched in Mentions

Well kind of.

Young Suze had her procedure this week. She is a brave lass as this blog will testify I have to say that I am not particularly able to take an epidural for this sort of procedure being a little sensitive.
Suze has linked to one of the funnier moments of one of my visits here

Have a read of more of Suze's anecdotes - there can be a funnier side - it just take you a few weeks after the events to realise it sometimes!

A Few Pints Later

And I am feeling back to my old self again. The Sun has come out and it is quite warm - time to go and sit in the garden and chill out for the rest of the day.

Blood Taking by Professionals

It must be me but these guys are great at the Hospital. I hardly had a bruise last time and this time I hardly felt anything at all. I suppose that if you do this for a living (a strange job if you think about what you would be doing every day) then you'd be good at it.

I've had some good and bad experiences with this in the past and yet so far, both times have been good. I have to say I don't fancy making a habit of this though.

The BEST Bacon Sandwich - EVER


Well that worked I got seen inside 25 minutes, nice lad and was surprised I'd starved as long as I had but I did say to him about the wait last time and the fear of getting trampled to death by the geriatric sprint to the seats. He told me that they actually start picking numbers up at 7:30! I got there at about 10:45 and was seen by 11:10 - I think I was actually walking out at that time.

I went past the Cafe but it was packed there was only a seat outside on the pavement which I didn't really fancy. So I then walked past the pub - I know - good temptation control for me and then got home.

I have just had a double bacon sandwich with white bread and HP Sauce. I realised that I haven't had a Bacon Sandwich for more than a year!! It was absolutely brilliant - ahhhhhhhh.

Also today my Bladder Cancer Awareness wrist bands arrived from the USA. you can get them at or I have a small supply if you want one. They are a rather fetching dayglo orange colour.

So far so good

I'm just getting ready to go to the Hospital and just doing some final messing about and then I'll go and see if my cunning plan has worked. I'm not hopeful but you never know.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Here we go again then! This time drink something dummy!

I have made sure that my liquid intake today has been up as the results showed I was dehydrated. I hadn't quite got it right and thought I was allowed sips of water not to drink as I wanted to. I suppose I am so used to the procedures where with BCG you don't drink for 2 or 4 hours before (I forget which now) and of course on the operations - whilst you can have sips of water I tend not to.

This time I will get that right. I've eaten well today and ensured that I have had plenty of variety, I've not touched alcohol since Tuesday and so I am hoping that my results actually show some blood in my alcohol stream this time.

All this blood letting - if he mentions leeches next week I'm running for the hills :-)

And so to bed!

Time is almost up

I have to go on to the fasting regime in less than an hour. I shall mark that with a drink of some sort (not alcoholic unfortuantely). Then it will be water only until 11 or so tomorrow. As I will have to walk back past the cafe and the pub I could be tempted to eat, drink and be merry on the way home!

Next Blood Test

I look forward to these as some people look forward to having a limb amputated without anaesthetic.

Tomorrow I intend to get up a little later, do my exercises and then to have a slow wander up to the Hospital to get there about 11 or just after. I am hoping that the crush of people having their fasting blood test (which this one is) will have died down and that I can get my test done a little quicker than last time. We live in hope.

As I haven't been eating sugar sandwiches (all the rage when I was a kid) and I haven't been drinking alcohol or anything else silly, I hope that the results will be back in the normal level and I can move on from this. I certainly do not want to be doing this every week.

I go back to one of my earlier posts about whether or not people realise that with all this time off and testing and prodding and poking that somewhere in the time left I need to find a job and to actually do some work. I have some work next week but I have a feeling that it is going to get disrupted through appointments and the like.

All OK this morning

Apart from the Internet being down - I can get to this site but I cannot get to most of my main web sites and I have no e-mail either.

I will have to wait for it to come back I suppose. Certainly I've not had the lightheadedness of yesterday. That was peculiar but I'm sure it is just settling into these tablets and also other factors like when I take them, whether I have eaten or not before and so on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Suddenly this lot popped out

I was doodling around and started to jot this lot down. I hope that it makes sense.

My Bladder Cancer Journey

My Bladder Cancer Journey
Has only just begun
Yet like a West End blockbuster
It’s set to run and run.

My Symptoms, like many others
Start disturbingly, passing blood
In between the waves of panic
The stress hit me like a flood.

My GP reviewed the evidence
My guess is that he knew
An urgent request to refer me
Gave an appointment and review.

A Local procedure frightened me
A device that checks you bladder
Inserted where you can’t believe
Diagnosed cancer that made me sadder.

I think I knew that all along
The Consultant then told me so
You have a bladder tumour
It must be operated, removed and go.

What do I tell my children?
What do I tell my wife?
I have a dangerous illness
It may well cost me my life.

Within days I was in Hospital
So scared and so afraid
The worst was almost over
My family and friends all prayed.

How poorly I felt and helpless too
I lay wounded, wasted, tired, upset
As the scars healed within me
I researched and searched the Net.

The day came when half healed
After starving and laxatives left me weak
An IVU X-Ray procedure
Made me stressed and made me weep.

I’d never felt so wretched
So unloved, alone and bled
I’d have taken up any offer
I knew I didn’t want to end up dead.

Results of biopsies and X-rays
Consultations and knowledge provided
Another operation required
To check out what they'd decided.

Waking from this operation number 2
Something wasn’t right I knew
Spasms and pain racked my body
To keep my senses was all I could do.

Results this time were much better
Reviewed and checked and defined
BCG Treatment directly instilled
It sure played a lot on my mind.

Six instillation, rough times heading
It was meant to be so, of course
Renewing the bladder’s lining
Then limiting the cancer at its source.

The waiting is so stressful
Has the treatment worked or perhaps not?
These delays they are upsetting
A letter arrives and your stomach contracts in a knot.

In quiet moments I cried
Too proud to let you see
The trauma and the pain
That racked my mind and my body

My bladder cancer journey
Has only just begun
Now I’m past the first few stages
I'm sure I can overcome.

This poem, the first of many
I hope will put into rhyme
That hope it springs eternal
It happens all the time.

Calling on unforeseen depths
Your body can depend
A positive mental attitude
Will help you in the end.

Keep faith and love and rely upon
The help you get from others
If you are in a similar state
We all are sisters and brothers.

Your consultant and your nurses
Are there to set you right
And once that you recover
You sleep well again at night.

Somewhere, someone else is suffering
And I’d like to let you know
Yes – It’s personal and it's frightening
But you’ve got to reap what you sow.

My poems almost ended
I hope that you’ll discover
Cancer is mainly treatable
And chances are that you’ll recover.

Keep your spirits high
As high as you possibly can do
Lean on family and friends
And see the whole thing through.

I wish you well
I hope that you will find that it is so
That on your own journey
Your travels will help you grow.

That was a bit strange

I'm still feeling light headed I checked my BP and it is normal and not particularly low. I'll have to have a chat with the Doc when I see him next week. Anyway, I had an hour lying down and I'm certainly feeling a bit better.

Light Headed

I think that the tablets and exercise and the drop in my blood pressure is making me light headed. I've noticed it today quite a lot. I'm just being sensible and taking it easy - suddenly getting up from a chair and so on are to be discouraged.

Now it could be a much simpler reason than this - I had my hair cut yesterday so perhaps it is that? :-)

Back to previous levels

On my exercise regime I am now back to 4 1/2 miles a day and that seems to be just about right. You should be slightly out of breath and sweating moderately. I've never fancied being one of those people that looks like they are about to expire after having been exercising.

I worked at a place once where there was a lunchtime running club and everyone looked absolutely knackered by the time they came back. It can't be good for you :-)

I also realise that I am doing this exercise in the morning and that is OK but at some point in time I may need to think about switching when I can do this so that I can fit some work into my exercise schedule!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A great evening and now it is time

To go on the wagon (lay off alcohol). If the posts get intelligent, meaningful and useful you will obviously realise that the removal of alcohol has in fact worked.

On Friday I expect them to be able to find some blood in my alcohol stream!

Wish me luck :-)

Where is my appointment

It has been two weeks tomorrow since I had the cysto and I've not had the letter to come back and have my out patients appointment.

I'm not too worried about that as up to a point they did say what they had seen and what they expected to happen. If I haven't got anything by tomorrow I'll drop them a line. As I'm looking at notable dates this time last week my contract ended and this time next week I will be up in London to undertake a task I never thought I'd make. Now that will be a massive milestone in my recovery as it will mean a lot to achieve something I've always wanted to do. Nine months ago I wasn't certain that I would be around and if I was I'd be in any shape for it either and so to me it is one of those things I'd put in my head as achievements and goals or milestones. Once that is out of the way, a crucial and new era awaits.

I think I had better go set some more goals and milestones - these will be things that I really ought to do now that I am on the mend. I also realise that I haven't listed those down perhaps now is the time to do that?

Do you expect me to talk Goldfinger?

No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!

I just had this vision of that laser cutting towards James Bond and thought that the parallels to having a flexible cystoscopy are too close to call. I mean you know which bit is going to get zapped first right? James Bond is tied to the table, you are not, he still has his trousers on - and you - oh well - that is too much detail for this paragraph!

I wonder if I should say that to my Urologist as they approach with all the equipment. Do you expect me to talk???

No, we expect you to lie perfectly still and take it like a man :-)

I was wondering whether to question the nurses about why they would possibly want to do this job? What motivates them exactly? Could it be revenge :-) If I can think that clearly next time I have one I might ask it but frankly, I'd be in no positions whatsoever to defend myself.

Night Out

Lad's night out tonight - the old school friends and we each have to bring 3 jokes along - we ran out of them last time :-)

I have written mine down plus a few extras! After tonight I am on the wagon, especially following the blood test results last week and the wobble that gave me. I will also be on best behaviour and make sure I complete all my exercises and eat properly too.

So, tonight should be fun, organising our 50th birthday party (2 of us are joining together for that) and reminiscing about how it was in the old days! I think it is brilliant that we have known each other for 40 years. Two of them have grown up together so almost 50 years for them.

The recent travails have made these friends very precious (Oops I sound like Gollum there for a moment). Perhaps very special to me or is that just as bad? All those years of growing up, getting married, having kids, holidays together and all sorts of scrapes and incidents along the way. Perhaps even better is that we have remained in contact with more friends from school and so there are probably 15 or 20 that we could still get in touch with.

That's Interesting

Someone wants me to interview for a job based here in the South of England - that will be good.

I'm just ploughing through the details now and it is an interesting proposition. That's cheered me up a bit. Not sure of the full picture and timescales yet but if the first stuff I have read is anything to go by - it could be an interesting ride.

Acting as if you are ill

I find it difficult to act normally anymore. There is always something I need to have done to allow me to plan out something or decide where to go.

Trying to commit to things is difficult and I do end up not doing things just in case something happens. I suppose I don't like to let people down and so not committing means that I don't have to last minute someone. I don't like having that done to me.

There is the other thing too, at the moment I don't like the idea of missing or rearranging any appointments to suit myself. If my consultant wants to see me next Wednesday then I'll be there. I haven't missed an appointment yet and I suppose if it clashed with something I could call and rearrange it. Things now aren't so serious (well they are but are not time critical). Again, I know that I'm due 3 or 6 BCGs whatever happens. One way or the other that is two days a week out for 3 or 6 weeks and when will they start and finish. Later this week, another blood test, results next week, a phone call and perhaps (almost certainly) a visit to pick up a new prescription and so on.

If I write off the next two months I should then be clear for 6 months and have no reason to worry about any of these things, any disruption to work (when I find some) and any possibility of getting caught out and having to spend stacks of time off work.

Of course in 2 months time it will be holiday season - I can't win :-)

Comments opened up

I hadn't realised that I had suppressed some comments by using Google account holders only so - sorry!

You can now comment but to stop spam robots I've added verification and also, now, I have moderation over comments. I've done that in case someone decides to post something that I (I am sole arbiter) find offensive or off subject I can delete.

Hopefully this should open things up a bit more now.


Settled back down thank goodness

How peculiar that was yesterday - I was almost hyperactive last night. Today I am going to just take things easy and at a slow pace. I have loads of things to do and loose ends to tie up, I need to get some serious reorganisation done as the old company laptop has left a space on my desk that is getting filled up with bits of paperwork.

I have a load of letters to write, I have my party invites to send (guess who's 50 this year then) and I need to start working logistics and plans on that and catch up with my balance sheet - that doesn't balance and try and find out why that is.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Gone into manic mode tonight

I don't know why or what triggered this but I have gone into absolute overdrive and it is now almost 1 in the morning and I haven't been able to stop or slow down on anything. I reckon I could run for about 48 hours non stop I am that lively - even now. This happens occasionally but normally I am working on some project or other - today this kicked in and I could easily run for hours, spend 24 hours at the PC (if I had something to actually do) or some other similar activity.

I am going to have to work out how on earth to switch off. At the moment I really feel as if I could party all night or something similar. I have no idea where this burst of energy came from. It is pretty strange I have to say and harps back to 5 or more years ago.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I am stunned

By my blood pressure readings tonight. I've come off the beta blockers and I'm just on the ace inhibitors (although we are checking those out with the next set of blood tests).

My GP said that he didn't expect me to live like a Hermit last week. Which was a bit too late as I've just put a deposit down on a nice cave too.

No really, my Blood Pressure is way below stupid this evening - 108 over 64. Anyway - I must not complain but I am really amazed by the results. I look forward to seeing my GP In a week and a bit and delivering him my BP readings.

Can Cancer be Funny?

It is a taboo and you don't hear too many jokes about it. Sometimes, you need to have a laugh though and this blog (link below) intends to provide some lighter moments. Patient, carers and family and friends all need to ease the tension and humour is one of the best ways.

Some people feel uncomfortable with using humour and yet it is a way to keep your spirits up.

Click HERE

Now that is pleasing

I managed to knock another 1/2 kilo off my weight last week despite that breakfast and a bit of a booze session on the Tuesday and Thursday.

This week of course I am not going to go out and have a bladder full of booze! I shall be taking things very carefully indeed.

Exercising picks up

I didn't do any yesterday but went back to it this morning. I did 4 miles and burnt about 150Cals so happy with that. Not quite up to my full speed and distances yet but I have to be pleased that I got to 30 minutes again so quickly. I feel quite fit despite having been pulled about and I think waiting a little while longer than I wanted at least didn't give me a chance to hurt myself.

Now to see if I can do this every day and get back on schedule for weight and measurements. It is one of those things that is easier to give a miss than to do. That is the danger of course :-)


Up with the Lark - not, after a late night I'm up and ready to face this week. What will that hold? Who knows? I have some stuff that I must get on with and yet I just cannot seem to get the enthusiasm for doing them. Perhaps they might distract me enough this week if I just get on and do them?

My health is in first place again (where else could it be) but I really shouldn't be thinking about it all the time. It is difficult to get out of that frame of mind and to get on with life but it is the core thing around which everything else revolves at the moment.


It is 1:45 am and my daughter has just got back from her first London concert. Mum has just picked her up from the station.

Breathes large sigh of relief :-) You have to let go but it is difficult. I daren't think what my parents went through when I used to come back late from being up in London? I used to go to concerts a couple of times a week sometimes.

And so - to bed.

I'm still somewhat concerned about the results though

I mean a high blood glucose level can I suppose be a one off? Considering I had been out on the booze on the Tuesday before the tests I Suppose that is a possibility. However, That was probably me clutching at straws and not looking the reality of this in the face.

The real issue is that I don't have any of the other symptoms and I'm already on a pretty healthy diet (apart from the odd occasional breakfast of course). Am I glad I didn't accept the St. George's Day bash tomorrow. That can get truly out of hand on the food and booze side.

I am concerned though as to what they will find. I also hope to hear when my Out Patent's appointment is for the results of my operation. I bet it will be on the only day I have anything planned in the next few weeks.

Last year I missed a very special day when I went in for operation No.2 I do not intend to miss a very special day this year as it would be for me a once in a life time opportunity. For that, I can miss a day or two if it comes to it.

It is surprising that all these things are as a result of being diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. I'm guessing that I'd not have done anything about my blood pressure until perhaps that was too late and if I am pre-diabetic or perhaps am diabetic that would probably have shown itself with the symptoms when they got difficult to control. I also wonder, if it is diabetes, it could be like a friend of mine who had a heart attack and then they also found he was a Type 1 diabetic. I think that came about as a result of, not a precursor to his attack!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Men are more likely to get Bladder Cancer - Why Explained


It appears that "A molecular receptor or protein that is much more active in men than women plays a role in the development of the disease".

The one less thing there is to worry about being a woman though is you ought to thank God that you don't have a Prostate - I suppose we blokes ought to thank God for that too really :-)

Having things continually driven past it is something that I wouldn't miss.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mind You What else is wrong and do you really want to know

I think I'd rather not know and then again? It is difficult isn't it. Would you rather know you had something nasty or rather you didn't know so you could go happily on, not knowing?

Having Cancer is bad enough and high blood pressure was OK once I'd got over the denial bit. Being diabetic would really p1ss me off - no really it would. I've made massive changes to my life style (perhaps - and we can argue this out later - a bit too late in life to make a difference) but even so, I am so much fitter than a year ago although I'm probably 20Kg more than I was then - I am no where as near as fit as when I was 20 but then I was really at my peak and had an active job - but my goodness when I look back at the life style of the 70s. We smoked and drank and hardly slept and I worked long hours on site ate huge grease out breakfasts regularly at work. Crikey :-) So I should be surprised I even made it this far knowing what we know now.

SO if they found some more stuff in these tests would I really want to know? I'm going to say yes but I am also going to say that I would need to be told face to face as just getting that sort of half data over the phone did not do me any good at all.

If it was diabetes and it was pre-diabetes then it is clear that if I know about it - I can manage it properly and ensure that I do all the right things for that. Another side of me says that, I feel well now and I'm happy doing what I do, living the life I live and that if I didn't know, what would be the worst thing that could happen. Then I realise that it could be blindness, loss of limbs and think that I'll go back to that I want to know.

Last year I was a firm believer in "let it happen" now I'm not so sure that really is the right way to do it.

SLAP - back to where you were

Was how it felt yesterday. Just like someone had walked up and without any warning hit me right across the face, a real stinging one too.

The strangest thing of all is that I knew I was ill with the bladder cancer and I'd got a feeling that I wasn't right and that over the years I had been struggling against an invisible force (which could be how quickly my daughters can reach the monthly credit limit on my Visa card!). But, I digress.

I knew that my blood pressure was pre-hypertensive and that I had White Coat Syndrome. I know I have a fear of needles of all sorts and I particularly dislike blood tests although the last few have been tolerable and bearable for me - just.

So what am I rattling on about now. Well, some of these things they can find wrong with you - well you just wouldn't know until the full symptoms came about. Like diabetes, I don't have any of the common symptoms and yet they can tell that there is something not quite right and can do something about it (or rather I can). I often wonder if we had set out many years ago to make the NHS a preventative service rather than a reactive service, quite how many diseases could have been halted and how many major procedures could have been saved and how little time you would need to be in care if you'd have "changed the oil" 100,000 miles ago or whatever?

Prevention is better than cure so they say. Perhaps in the future, they will be able to do that. I suppose if they'd cured us all before we would have had anything you'd never know how to treat things, do the surgery or realise what the early stages were either. Perhaps another of those Catch 22 moments.

I feel a lot better today

It wasn't to difficult to do that of course after the events of Friday 20th. I've spent this morning running up some soups to freeze for next week. I make a pretty handy Watercress and Spinach soup and I tried a Mushroom one this morning too which has gone down well with the troops.

They are all batched up ready to go. Soup makes you feel full up and slowly releases - making your own means that there is no salt in it and you know all the ingredients are fresh too.

I now need to sort something out to occupy me this afternoon. It is a lovely day, perhaps something in the garden.

Exercises Restart

I did about 2 1/2 miles this morning (about 20 minutes worth) and thought that it was best to stop there and I can up the rate tomorrow and the time as well. I'm a little surprised that I'm not as out of breath as I thought I'd be nor quite as sweated up. My Blood Pressure and heart rates are normal which is cool.
I had quite a good night's sleep unsurprisingly and I feel a lot better today. I'm going to really concentrate this week on getting my fitness back and on catching up with all the odds and ends I have lying around here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I never want to feel that bad again

My world came crashing down this afternoon. I am utterly drained at the moment. For one moment it flashed before my eyes that I'd be in and out of hospitals and GP surgeries and clinics and in and out of ambulances for the rest of my life.

I've been right down to the darkest of dark places today and then bounced straight back and can rejoice that it isn't what was feared and now, now that I have thought a bit harder about it, I suppose if it is what it indicates on the tests then it can be handled and managed it needs review and life style changes, such as I've already made, can keep this under control.

I've had enough now I'm going to bed and I am not getting up early in the morning. I will however re-start the exercises tomorrow as I feel that the majority of the bruising is almost out and I feel fit enough to do that now.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

I really, really wanted to get off the Roller Coaster today. I approached the worst moment of the whole 9 months to date earlier on. It wasn't the case that if it had of been diabetes or perhaps even something else it was the fact that I've really gone out there and spent time and effort to change lifestyle, to improve my health. Cancer is one thing, then the blood pressure (which can lead to all sorts of stuff) and of course, my Kidneys have probably take a severe battering of late due to the disease I have and the pushing and pulling about I've had as well as the tablets I'm on.

To have the news that I maybe diabetic took me right over the edge. I actually think now, right now, I'd probably have settled for that as long as I got nothing else - ever again. It is hard enough with the cancer let alone anything else.

2 days shy of my 49th birthday, I'm not yet 50 and my body went into meltdown. It was a wake up call 9 months ago - I certainly don't need to keep adding to the list now or in the future. I've really had enough for a life time and I'm not out of the first phase of either the bladder cancer or the blood pressure problems yet.

There was a Roller Coaster I spoke about which is the treatment and the ups and downs of that and all the emotions that went with it. Today it did a quad flip and a load of loop the loops in the dark and I wasn't prepared for them. For the second time this month I got my life back. The Roller Coaster is running along smoothly. It wasn't the fact of what it was it was that it came totally out of the blue.

Cancel the Blue Plaque

"XXX Lived Here"

So what do 2 + 2 make? Did someone say 4??

Not if you are me - how about 4,000,004

OK - Sort of good news - yes readings are high enough to question whether diabetic. However, we know there are no diabetic symptoms. So far so good? Cannot understand one reading showing dehydration - oops my mistake I didn't drink a lot as I thought I shouldn't.

We are going to repeat the tests at the end of next week and by the end of the week after we will be able to review it all again.

As for me? I think I learnt a bit of a jumping to conclusions lesson. Doc apologised when he realised quite what a horrible afternoon I had been through. I wore the Tee Shirt, we were much relieved. It is now the "Magic Tee Shirt".

Within minutes, I had gone from resigned and slightly distressed to OK about things again. I cannot tell you quite what a relief it is.

I have managed to cancel the blue plaque for the house :-)

All the problems, fears, doubts, and everything else are gone! I must learn to take it easy before I "go into one" Sorry to everyone out there who also got wound up with me today. All's well that ends well.

The family are all home

So I'm back on good form being me. Actually they have cheered me up just seeing them and I'm just going to go and get myself ready and go to see the GP.

We were having a laugh about my pig out breakfast of yesterday - "was it really because they didn't give you an I've been brave sticker dad?" Bless :-)

Right, time to stop mooching about and get myself ready to confront the latest hurdle.

More later, as always!

Feeling sorry for myself

I suppose that is only natural? Boy am I p1ssed off with it at the moment.

I've decided that the "I'm not dead yet" Tee Shirt and I are going down to the GPs. I need to raise my game here. I'm possibly even more upset than when I was diagnosed - I think it is the combination of things and the I'm getting and feeling better at last and this just stopping that feeling in its tracks.

Came over all unnecessary just then

I just had a bloody good cry. That little wave of emotion just came up and grabbed me. I wasn't expecting something like this I have to say. As it wasn't on my plan of how things are going to go that one really caught me full on the chin. High Glucose means one thing in my memory and that is diabetes. I suppose it may be nothing more than a warning signal and needs observation but it has shaken me to the core today.

If I wasn't paranoid that the "man was coming to get me" I might just be now. I have calmed down a bit and I'm going to go and sit quietly and go through some of my calming routines.

I've really had enough of being ill today and I was giving it the "why me?", "I don't deserve this" and all that old stuff.

Those of you who know me - will know this is just a temporary glitch and I'm going to be OK. I am just really feeling it today it's as if the last 10 months just crashed down on me after the phone call from the GP.

Worse things happen at sea of course!

That's nicely wiped out anything else I was planning to do today

Why is it everytime I build myself up and feel good some sod comes and rips it all down again. Damn it all.

That's my afternoon gone to pieces. Bloody hell.

Now What?

Oh sh1t - someting wrong with the blood tests - I need to go in again this afternoon to see the Doc. Repeat the blood tests - oh great!

What the hell else can be wrong?

That's It

My business VPN connection has been severed and I am now officially out of touch with my old company. Yesterday two more senior members resigned and so the after shocks reverberate on.

I have just cleaned off all my old files and shut down the laptop for the last time. A bit sad to see it go back into its case.

Back to Salt

There is a news report on the BBC web site today all about reducing salt and the subsequent reduction in heart disease. CLICK HERE to go to the web site and read the details.

Yesterday I was out in the evening as well as pigging out on a cooked breakfast earlier in the day - on both occasions the salt was left well alone but I did use some pepper. You can get used to it but they initial shock to the system is amazing as none of your food tastes right for perhaps a week or so.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Some people are SO nice

And I mean that without my normal cynical edge. Tonight there were a lot of people delighted about my news and I'm glad that they are glad to hear it. Another friend wasn't there tonight and that was particularly sad news. Seriously bad reactions to the chemotherapy and I'm really sad about that. Now what do I do when I drop a note to him? Tell him that I'm getting better? I don't think so. Not sure what to say as it is really serious and I was trying to work out what I found encouraging or helpful in the dark times myself?

Even I find it difficult to know what to say to someone suffering with a higher graded cancer than my own and there I was moaning about it earlier. I'm guessing I can do the emphatizing bit and I'm guessing that my glimmers of a recovery could be used as grab points.

Again, you feel pretty helpless at times like this.

The Habitual Patient

I couldn't quite get the hang of this but it sounded like someone was in every day to have their blood taken - every day!!! What on earth is that about? And someone was chatting away matter of fact about all the procedures and things that were wrong with her and I was thinking - here am I complaining about having 3 tests in 6 weeks (actually that IS a lot) and of course two last year. I suppose I should think myself lucky that the last time I was tested was 12 years or more and 30 years before that.

I hope that I don't have any other health problems as I don't think I could stand being a habitual patient and moving from GP to Hospital to clinic and being able to reference my days by what place I was going and what procedure I was having.

I need to remember that there are lot of people far worse off than I am.

My Theory - Old People at the Blood Clinic this morning

Perhaps they were my age when they arrived but they could never find a number and have been wandering around the corridors ever since? If I'd have waited any longer I would have been able to pull my bus pass and get a free ride home.

Roll on being Grandpa Simpson.

The Full Monty - in praise of the good old Greasy Spoon Cafe

After having my blood taken I was walking home and there was the local cafe. It's a nice little place, very clean and tidy, nice people and it does a good range of good honest, no frills, no fuss food.

So - hugely disappointed that I hadn't even got an "I've been a brave boy" sticker for my bravery in having my blood test, I thought I'll go and treat myself. Now as a treat, having food may not seem particularly high up on the list. A New Car, a holiday perhaps but food?

Of course. There is nothing like a good full Monty, full blow out English Breakfast is there? They'd just checked my cholesterol and all the other stuff and lets face it, I've been eating like a test pilot for Weight Watchers this past 6 weeks! So I decided that my treat for not only being a brave boy but also to be a little naughty and get those blood sugars and cholesterol back up to where they should be I'd go for the breakfast that working men quake in their boots when they see it. Yes - The Full Monty. I wasn't disappointed either. Two rounds of toast with an ocean of salted butter atop them. Two fried eggs, two rashers of back bacon, two pork sausages, baked beans and - yes - bubble (for the uninitiated - Bubble and Squeak - sort of like a hash brown but with onion and /or leek in it). The oval plate was covered, you couldn't see the porcelain beneath the whole plate and there is something about busting a couple of fried eggs open and letting the yolk mingle with the bean juice that just says - Knoshing Irons to the ready - PIG OUT!!!!

I duly pigged out and of course you have to use your bread or toast to mop up all the juice.

I reckon I have consumed enough salt and sugar to keep me going for a month but hey - it really is only every now and then. It sure made up for the waiting about for the blood test and breaking my fast too.

Long live the Greasy Spoon and the Full Monty say I!

Bugger me what was all that about

Fast overnight and go to the local Hospital to get your blood tested - no problem here is the envelope thingy.

It was like the first day at a clearance sale. I got there bang on time - I had a lovely slow walk along roads that I have never walked down before (I've lived around here most of my life) and it was like the doors swung open and I followed the crowd. Then it said take a number - where are the numbers? On the Table says the old dear next to me so I walked back but they weren't there today - oh no they are in between all of the chairs where people are already having their blood taken. So I got No.26 - Yes that's what I thought. Then there is the warning notice that it is ALWAYS BUSY FIRST THING IN THE MORNING - Oh great!

So I stuck on the music and waited - and waited and - oh you get the picture. About 9:30 I suppose I got called in so I had waited an hour. The chap who did my blood was a nice lad and I was done in a few minutes. I just close my eyes and go into deep breathing and off to my quiet place (we did this in hypnotherapy) I have a nice lake all to myself with mountains and a pine forest and all that, the water laps slowly and rhythmically on the shore.

In the next post I shall share with you my reward :-) Fasting since 8 pm (or earlier in fact) the night before and then going into this chaos was not my idea of an good morning. However it is over now and I shall make sarcastic reference to this when I speak to my GP tomorrow.

Knowing how I am with Hospitals and Doctors I think he may understand why I was less than impressed with the rosy picture painted. I reckon if I had gone back late morning it would have been clearer and they say after 2 pm it is the best time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's OK to be scared sh1tless

I was reading in another forum how frightened someone was of having a cystoscopy. I think if you've read my stuff you probably know how downright scary some of this stuff can be and I'm your worst for anything like that. I think that my recent hypnotherapy went a long way to take away some of the worry but I did feel for this particular person.

It is easily the most terrifying thing I've ever had happen to me. The stress leading up to any of the procedures is pressure you can hardly imagine. The nerves and the fright and being scared and not having any sleep or being frightened to go to sleep are all part of the territory of this and I imagine any serious disease.

Because of how they get to see inside your bladder whether male or female and that in some cases they do that whilst you are awake and with a local anaesthetic is again a trauma all of its own.

So I felt so sorry for this person who was about to have this done and who you could read in between the lines was emotionally drained and perhaps even being physically sick.

There's a sort of thing people say to you about you "being brave" and actually, if the truth be known you are quaking and scared to pieces. We each have to find our ways to deal with this and that really is part of every persons own battle with their disease, their staging and their recovery. Some people just get on and let it happen to them, others like me get on with it and use various techniques (including denial I'm sure) to get on with it. Just writing this makes me feel slightly uneasy.

I've gone a long way around saying that it is OK to be scared and to be frightened and it is a natural thing to feel apprehensive about some of these procedures. Sure, there are worse things that can happen to you (someone told me that but I doubt that they'd ever had an IVU) but it is YOU going through these and it is how it affects you that matters.

If there is any consolation, it is that the human body amazes me every time. It is 1 week since my operation and whilst I feel some small discomfort - you'd hardly know. I do of course :-)

Remarkably Calm

Considering I have to go and give blood tomorrow. My blood pressure is slightly higher and yet my pulse rate is down. I'm not allowed to eat until afterwards and only drink water.

I shall see what it is like tomorrow as I am going to go to the other Hospital near me. I didn't fancy returning to the scene of the crime and so the other one is smaller and about the same walking distance so I'll try that.

Whilst I'm not looking forward to it, I'm not dreading the visit. My hypnotherapy man seems to have done a neat trick turning this sort of stuff into positives. Neither am I going to go accompanied, I think I have to learn to do these things on my own.

I don't fancy having to do this regularly though, nor do I really like the idea of being on any kind of drugs at all. Especially as these ones will be for - potentially - the rest of my life unless all the cumulative effects of my life style changes bring everything back to a reasonable level.

I should thank my lucky stars that my blood pressure problems were found as a result of the cancer I suppose - otherwise I could have been in serious trouble with my Blood Pressure being that high.

An Honest Day's Work

What on earth is that? Honest day - sound like an Employer's phrase to me...

I did some work today that I hadn't done for years and it was (sort of) enjoyable in a strange round about way. I don't suppose that digging around PCs and cabling and grubbing around under desks is everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed it.

The report writing at the end of it is a bit of a blow but you have to do that too. It takes me back a few years I can tell you.

So is everything different this morning?

No of course not, it feels just like any other day. I am going off to work this morning - not exactly paid work but something to get me back into the swing of things. It should be interesting.

The jobs market appears to be quite active and there were a few jobs coming through yesterday. I've tentatively applied for those. Whilst I've still got to work out exactly what I'm going to say to people about the next lot of treatment, at least I can start to work out how to approach that and explain it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

End of Days

Well that is it. I worked for the company I always wanted to and wasn't disappointed except for the end result which was hardly necessary and totally avoidable.

Will I get to work for them again? Does the lure of part time or the lure of what could have been affect my decision? I don't know. Tonight I'm just thankful that I had the time I did there as they were such a fabulous bunch of guys and girls. They deserved so much more than they got.

I'm going to stay in touch and hope that they lever their way out of the problems they are in. I can reflect on my time with them and also my problems which kind of mirror the issues they have had. I'm climbing out of the depressive stage and hoping to make my way on to something new, challenging and achievable. They have to do the same with or without me.

De-Mob happy

I am certainly de-mob happy at the moment. I really didn't want to leave my last job but needs must and all that and that is my lot, I'm finished and history or "toast" as they say.

I really haven't thought through the next steps in any great detail - I'll just let serendipity dictate the next few weeks.

Ring out the old - ring in the new

As if on cue a call at 5:30 with someone looking for a specialist to work in the City starting almost immediately.

Can't be bad, I'd probably been out of work for 30 or 40 seconds by then.

Out to lunch

A nice few beers with a friend of mine and we can go and compare medical notes and have a moan about the NHS.

How do you look at it

Remember Tommy Cooper? A UK based comedian and you could look at it "Like that" or "Like That" and so on.

I'm sounding more upbeat everyday and whilst that may appear to be what you "should do" it isn't always as it depends on what you read into what you are told. Sometimes I look at what I have written and think it very negative or it conveys a negative view and yet it probably isn't my intention to do that.

I think that today I've settled down to the fact that I've come through the really difficult stuff and this is a new phase. I'm not over impressed with having to go for blood tests on Thursday but I'll do that as it takes me along the next step. Being downgraded and going onto a BCG regime would for some seem to be a horrible thing to look forward to. If you consider that the last lot has most probably got rid of the CIS that was there and that the small area that needed work was also probably low grade then it makes sense to use the BCG to obliterate any signs of the cancer that may be left. It is heavy, it is drastic stuff and I can't remember the exact words the GP used but it is like "Wow - that really is heavy stuff to use how did you get on?"

So I'm probably going to get a sledgehammering to start with but isn't that a good thing? I think because it is so violent that not everyone can live with it. Anyway, I think that it may well be worthwhile especially if it stops the cancer coming back.

I hope that I don't put anyone off having BCG - you should read my earlier posts about the experience and the way to manage it. When you've had the treatment and then you get the results you'll find it is worth it and it is immunotherapy not chemotherapy so it only works locally and right where the cancer is.

Last Day Today

An era comes to an end at 5:30 pm when my notice period runs out and I am no longer employed by one of the only companies that I'd ever really wanted to work for. To say that the last 10 months have been challenging would be an understatement. I got the job of my dreams and hadn't been there 5 minutes when the bladder cancer struck. After all the treatment and getting myself built up for some really big challenges, the New Year brought disappointment as projects fell by the wayside and then redundancy.

Tomorrow I can start a new page in my business life. I've so many options and I haven't decided what I really want to do as of the moment. One thing that is important are the results of the operation. They will determine the course of treatment and how long that will last. If BCG then that could be another 6 weeks worth - not nice but it tends to mean two days off for 6 weeks. I might get maintenance which is just the three weeks and again two days off. It is pretty harsh and you can't take it lightly like I have tended to. So realistically I can write off two days a week for 6 weeks which means that I probably wont start a job until mid June at the earliest and I'll be looking to go on Holiday in July!

It seems that I can never get the timing right. I wouldn't want to lumber a new employer with only partial ability to work unless I suppose it was part time. Nothing is ever easy.

OK - Off Betas and now for the next phase

Blood test (Oh how I love those). That will be Thursday morning as I am out tonight and need to fast which would hardly be possible as I am on the razzle. I am off the beta blockers for now. They were used to just assist the anxiety. That done I can come off those and again we can see what the readings show.

I might then be able to have a talk with my GP on Friday and see where we go from here. It looks like increasing the Ace Inhibitors to a specific level and then regular monitoring of my BP etc. That I am doing already and so if I continue that, start to get my fitness back etc., let the new diet and health regime kick back in again after being interrupted by the operation then we can get all this lot under control.

I'm sort of converted about having these tablets now. Having monitored my blood pressure for some time, to see the figures tumble to normal and the lower end of normal is proof that I probably needed to go on them. To then find all my family were on them - well there you go.

Like all these things really, I'm getting to that age where heart and soul really do need looking after. I still don't want to be a professional patient mind you but taking all reasonable advice and leading a healthier lifestyle (hard as that is) should in the end help present problems and I hope avoid others in the future.

Off to the GPs

This will be fun - NOT. I have now been to this GPs surgery loads of times in 9 months. Yet for 18 years I had only been there to register and to have a medical for an insurance policy.

I really don't want to be turning into a full or part time patient. Like the Hospital, whenever I go there. The whole place is full of sick people!

Personal Gain

I've been wrestling with this for a while. suddenly, none of this matters to me anymore. I've been "climbing the greasy pole" for a number of years and some time ago, working for a major corporate, I decided to get out of it and go and run my own business. I no longer needed to play the internal politics nor do anything else just to further my career although I did enjoy it, it held no massive hold over me, I enjoyed and got paid well (or I thought so then) what I was good at and, as I was good at my job, it didn't matter if I was a bit "Maverick" or just a little difficult for the bosses to handle. That was, after all, part of my charm and made me different to my peers. See, even in this there was my climb the pole differentiators.

Since then I have run my own business and have had to impress myself rather than my bosses. Last year I took permanent work and that again meant playing that sort of corporate game but, frankly, there wasn't that much heavy stuff going down so it wasn't necessary. Playing politics in a 128,000 people business as opposed to about 50 people business really wasn't going to be that challenging when the CEO employed you.

Recently in my social life, I've noticed that politics have entered that too and I'm not too happy about it but I do find it almost blindingly obvious who is doing what, who is maneuvering who etc. It may be my take on things but you never shake this sort of stuff off/ In social clubs, people do things (always the same people) and they get bad mouthed by the people who don't do anything and if you do something you are sucking up to the chairman and all of this. Then there are the little squabbles and someone leaves as they've had enough.

I have to say that after my recent experiences, it really doesn't matter a fig about all of this. My Mum still says the words that her mum used to say

"You're a long time dead" and it really is true. Surely you can get on and sort these things out? It took a serious illness for me to see that half the things I wasted my time on before were hardly worth worrying about. If I worried about whether or not I was going to get this or that promotion or what was going to happen to me in ten years time? Well it isn't worth it is it - you could be dead tomorrow and that, is the change I need to start bringing about in myself. As I have said before, the issue then happens to be that if you want those around you to think and act like that too and they don't get it. It isn't life or death to them and they haven't had the benefit of the concentration of mind you have had through your life changing illness. Also this take s you back to the fact that only you have these thoughts and this urge to make the remaining time worthwhile! Gee life can be complicated sometimes :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

I know just how you are feeling

Sorry NO you do not know just how I am feeling as I think that only I could ever know that. I've not had much of this but I have heard it said and it is used as a part of every day conversation but it isn't right.

What I say and what I feel are two totally different things. What I tell you and what I really feel are also quite different. If I told you that when my friend arrived tonight and that I was just moments from slinging my arms around him and having a bit of a blub - what do you think I was feeling then? Relief? Grateful thanks that he has always been such a support? Relieved I wasn't going to die? You don't know - how could you - even I was a bit taken aback at the emotions I felt. As it happened we just greeted each other quite normally but I was probably far more "extrovert" than I have been for months.

It just made me realise that people can "Imagine how you are feeling" perhaps they can "Understand how you are feeling" but I very much doubt that they "Know how you are feeling" lets face it you would have to have had the same operations, tests and results, be in the same situation family wise, job wise and be similar in every way to me to really understand that.

Pedant? Certainly, I find some phrases used in everyday conversation irritating to say the least. I do try very hard not to use the phrase of the day, typical phrases in dealing with major illness (well I wouldn't would I) and things like "Personally Speaking" or "My own opinion" or that sort of stuff.

Nuff said for tonight I think.

Still a little stinger

Mmmm, this isn't so nice. It is quite uncomfortable going to the toilet at the moment (passing urine). I'm guessing that it is just the bruising coming out and the blood earlier on today probably didn't help matters much either.

I've tried to be a little less active and not to do stupid things like lift heavy weights and all that. Unfortunately, I forget occasionally.

I'm now realising that I am slightly anxious about tomorrows meeting with the GP as my BP is a little higher than I expected it to be. I can't imagine that we are talking massive changes straight away as the outcome of last week's procedure hasn't truly been explained in detail.

I think I will also be making the point about being a professional patient as well.

I need to get out there and recover my life - I've spent 9 months or more fighting and I think I deserve a few days off for good behaviour :-)

Little Stinger

I've spent the afternoon lying down in a darkened room and had a few hours snooze. Seems to have stopped the bleeding now. The trouble as you can imagine is that the bladder is a muscle and so it is possible that this was a scab coming off one of the biopsy points or where they hooked out the suspicious bit.

Anyway, I'm keeping an eye on things and making sure that I don't do anything stupid like lift anything heavy and other such pursuits. It really is so easily done.

Little Stinger? Yes, if you have blood in your urine it gives you just a little sting to let you know. Just like cystitis (if you have ever had that?). It is enough to make you take in a short little breath and sort of half double up but it isn't that bad.

I'm out tonight and then off to the Doctor in the morning - I'm going to find out about this blood pressure thing a bit more then. I've been checking my BP these past 4 days or so with my new machine and it appears to be reasonable levels to me. I suppose it will be whether or not to continue the beta blockers or not.

I've not touched my exercise bike for a week and a bit as I had injured my back and then had the hospital and as you can imagine, exercise may just start off the bleeding again. What I think would have been apparent if I had continued would have been more weight loss (I've only lost kilo) and I think I'd have also continued to improve my BP results too through more cardio exercise.

More on that after we meet tomorrow.

Retired Hurt

I had forgotten just how knackered this recuperation period makes you.

I can only see a whopping great bruise on my right hand (you have to believe it) and that oblong of missing hair on my leg which as the hair is growing back is itching like hell. And of course there is the rather delicate matter of the um well, delicate matter so to speak which is still a little sore to say the least. You don't see anything else that makes you stop and think. There are no scars, stitches, plaster casts, splints (although that would be interesting) and the like to remind you that you've just been sliced about a bit.

I hope that I haven't gone back to the GPs too early by having an appointment in the morning. But my beta blockers run out tomorrow and if I am to stand any chance in the next Olympics - I need to be taking those!

I am feeling quite light headed and a little weak this afternoon and so I will be packing away the office stuff and going and sitting in the front room. I've got some cerebral work to do and I'll do that and relax.

Let this be a lesson to you - or me more likely!

Bugger - bleeding again

Serves me right for trying to run before I can walk again won't it? Just went to the loo and thought - Mmm that looks like blood and it was.

You get a little warning like this occasionally and it just says to you "SLOW DOWN DUMMY!"

So in that case I shall - slow down that is.

If you have this yourself - just remember that when they said rest up for a week or don't drive for a week - they probably meant it. Me? I've driven the car around yesterday (long distance) and today on two or three short runs. Now I am paying for it. Doh!

Previous post looked a bit worse than it was

I was trying, unsuccessfully to say that life goes on and that in the overall scheme of things its a small thing no matter how big it is to me.

Maybe it is only me then

That is elated about the current situation. It was as if everyone else was just floating around me this weekend. I felt that some people were really pleased (as was I) and yet nothing changed. It was as if it had never happened.

It only happened to me of course. Maybe it only ever mattered to me?

I asked my wife whether the children knew. She said - "yes they did". Nothing was said, nothing was different, nothing had changed. Just me - I changed this weekend, I moved on and I now realise that no one else will change with me as no one else has the disease, lives with it, fights it and moves on from it other than me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cheshire Cat Job

I have been smiling like a Cheshire Cat for sure all day and it was a fantastic day - i had a great time - I'm never sure if everyone else does though. I managed to drive all the way there which was good and was able to do the raffle and to spend time sorting things out.

Home gone 6:30 so much longer day than we are used to. But again, I'm not sure if everyone else wanted to be home so late.

But do I care?

Lovely Day

I'm not greatly impressed that I'll have to be wearing a suit today though - it is really shorts and tee shirt weather. We are off for a meal in the heart of Kent today.

The roads are bound to be packed as people make their way out for the day. At least it will give the A/C some exercise.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sinking in

Slowly and surely I am beginning to take in the news and I'm still not sure. I actually feel quite drained this evening. I've spent a few hours just sitting outside in the garden in the dark and thinking things through and sitting quietly.

I finally came to the conclusion that I need to get on with some of the stuff I've been thinking about and some of the plans I've been cooking up whilst I have been undergoing treatment. I'm not certain that everything will come off though.

As I've been away from everyone, I've allowed myself a few tears tonight - not too many - just enough to relieve the system . Tomorrow I have to meet lots of people and I'm not absolutely sure how I am going to handle things. Some know others don't. It is all becoming more powerful emotionally than I thought it would and it is building slowly. I still don't see the leaping down the road Hollywood finale materialising but perhaps a quieter personal and private version -maybe?

Too much thinking going on for a Saturday night - obviously.

[Goodness - for the first time on the whole blog I've spelt "beginning" properly - I don't know what that means but it is a milestone of sorts]

Absolutely Knackered

I decided that I should wash the car as we are going out tomorrow. I'm absolutely knackered and thought at one time I was going to need to sit down for a while.

Many who know me would not be surprised at this shirking of hard work :-) but really, - I can only guess that the anaesthetic is still working its way out of my body as I wouldn't normally be this tired after washing a car. I was thinking of perhaps getting back to my exercises again but I think I might wait a few days.

An appointment has been made with the GP to go and "negotiate" over my blood pressure on Tuesday. Perhaps I'll discuss the whole package with him then.

The fear of becoming/being a professional patient

It sits in the back of my head that I'm concerned about being one of these "Professional Patients" - you know, the ones who have been there and done that got the Tee Shirt, DVD, Book (signed by the author) and can quote medical terminology, drug types, side effects, dosage levels and the latest research at you. They can then tell you in intimate detail the procedures, the cocks ups and the revisits that they have had.

I also don't want to end up down the GPs every few weeks getting checked out and pushed and poked and having "routine" blood tests and all that either. Having managed to avoid the inside of a GPs surgery for all but a very few times in 30 years I don't want to know what pattern the wallpaper is nor to be discussing with fellow patients when they will get around to fixing that piece of peeling paper in the corner.

Reading back on the blog last night (or early this morning) I was more and more concerned that I am spending time being a patient and concentrating on getting well, staying well and understanding it and managing it that life is very one sided. I expect that it probably has to be still for a short while. I've survived the past 9 months or so of this and now I've got to put this to one side and in a way park it and move on. If the dangers are receding then I can perhaps take a backwards step in these next few weeks and review this, park it perhaps, and then move on in a different direction.

A bit of a digression there but that's it really isn't it, time to move on and put this behind me, take a deep breath and move on.


Someone told me the other day that I had had a terrible time of it with horrible things happening to me. I suppose that is true. It is less than ten months since it all started. If you'd have told me a year ago I would have gone through this much I would have doubted your sanity.

Just listing the procedures is enough. The first signs and the weeks of terror at the abnormality and knowing "surely" that it was fatal! That truly awful local anaesthetic scope, the shock of the diagnosis even though I thought it was that all along, the operation and recovery period first time, weak as a kitten, still frightened, and then (Oh my God) that awful IVU X-Ray thingy when I truly wasn't ready for it. The next follow up operation and its unexpected outcome, recovering from that. The relief of the results but the subsequent realisation that whilst it looked better - things were more dangerous. The 6 weeks of Immunotherapy before Christmas. Getting better and fitter and getting ready for a New Year and then to be made redundant. The disappointment of the operation being set back and all the blood pressure problems and then the last operation. Putting it that way - how can I not say that I agree with them.

I ought to add here that on top of this you can add the stress, panic, strain, terror and pain. Then stretching your relationships with family and friends to breaking point, losing your get up and go (mine got up and went) and not really wanting to do anything or commit to anything either.

Let's add to that the problem of finding a new job that is going to be flexible enough to accommodate the next course of treatment. Let's face it, an interview now would mean that I may not really be able to put a full week in for 2 or more months.

I can add to this that there are other pressures that aren't immediately apparent. How about trying to plan a holiday - no one got a real holiday last year. The ability to commit to dates, other than weekends in case treatment clashes or overruns. Whether or not your insurance actually covers and whether the Consultant and GP will get the right forms back. I mean it has only been 6 months they have been trying to sort this out. Who knows whether the damn thing will ever pay out. If things had have been worse then you can imagine that the family wouldn't have got anything which sort of defeats the object of taking it out in the first place.

Loss of concentration, lack of any ability to plan, loss of enthusiasm for anything really, stuff screwing up your thoughts and a brain that just wont do what I tell it too (perhaps my brain has turned female??). Not getting much sleep and processing lots of options and what if scenarios - you know what if this happens, how will I do this, If I cant find a job how long can we last, will I be around for my Kids graduation / weddings and all that sort of guilt stuff. Oh yes and if only I hadn't have done so and so in 1970 something.

I am sure I could add to this list a couple more pages of negatives.

What about the positives?

Better life style than ever
Heightened sense of the ridiculous
The experience (I doubt I am a better person - just changed)
Major changes coming

I can't think of many others at the moment. I am amazed at the recuperative powers of the human body. I saw people smashed up worse than I was and they recovered as did I. I really felt beaten up the first two times and either I'm getting used to it or resilient or I'm just plain too stupid to feel knocked out! I am amazed how you can deal with a situation in many different ways and the processes you have to go through to achieve your goals. The demons you have to slay for yourself and the way you do that. I'm more surprised that I have the ability to be patient with people who are utterly stupid or just plain bloody ignorant. Whilst I like to show a hostile and belligerent attitude - I do try and be measured even when people are being downright stupid.

Of course I'd never ever wanted to be in the position, but I am. What can I observe looking back? Not a lot, I did some important things to aid my recovery and stuck to them. I took it upon myself to find out all I could - disturbing as that was. I know what the options are and I have the ability to discuss those with my consultant and her team. I trust my team and I do everything that I can to support what they are doing. I may not like what is happening to me but I will not stand in their way, I may whinge about it but I do get on and have the treatment.

I took it on myself to change the way I lived so that it would support the work that was being done. Being fit enough to be treated and fit enough to recover are MY side of the deal.

Writing it down is beneficial for me and (I am told) for others. Sometimes I don't like reading things that I wrote but I will leave the comments there for people to see.

I am so glad I didn't get anything more serious, more invasive or more deadly.

I still haven't realised how close I came or still could come with this. A few layers of cells - that is all, a few layers of cells.

We won't do was it luck or something else tonight - or as it is in the early hours of the morning. I'm afraid that hasn't stopped happening. I have the worst sleep patterns these days.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A very strange old day

It has been a strange day and I'm going to retire hurt in a moment :-)

So many people are happy for me and I'm sort of quietly happy for myself and my family. We are the only people not shouting about it. Strange isn't it. Almost a surreal experience - I wonder when it can have even been so arse about face?

Why am I not celebrating

I just spoke to my friend who is cancer free and therefore cured. Same with him, no reaction apart from thank goodness, that's good, nice, great etc.

We were working out whether that is because it isn't a binary thing. It doesn't just happen. That the stress and trauma of the past which is all bottled up and generally hidden is suddenly released and that is suppressing your elation.

Perhaps because you are geared up to hear the absolute worst case scenario and then get almost the opposite news - it is just so hard to take it in. Who knows - the shrinks would have a field day and I'm sure I could find my Kubler Ross area - if so then I am probably "testing" at the moment.

It is weird as I am gradually and quite cautiously letting people know and yet although I am happier today than I was yesterday I'm not ecstatic nor am I anywhere like where I thought I'd be.

Have I become over cautious, more pessimistic or perhaps something else has changed in me. I mean after this news I'm meant to pack it all in, buy a yacht and sail around the world or something like that and I don't feel like that either. I suppose we will have to see how it pans out over time. Sorry not to be leaping up and down and whooping and yelling. :-)

My New Toy has arrived

A proper blood pressure monitor with an arm cuff and averaging on it etc. First readings are good and show that my little wrist monitor wasn't as bad as we first thought.

I've now started a chart and will do morning and night as I need to go and see the GP next week for the next steps in getting this sorted. I've a feeling that Tuesday will be a fun day.

Gradually it sinks in

A flurry of phone calls this morning and a very sleepless night. Slowly I am beginning to "get it" - It's not seeing the light at the end of a tunnel I decided. It's changing motorways but not knowing how long you are on this one for as I still don't have a clue where I'm going, my maps aren't drawn yet and my GPS only tells me when I'm almost at the junction what to do next :-)

Note to self - stop talking in metaphors or similes as these are like signposts clouding your blogs?

Glossary / Vocabulary

I don't mean to stuff in buzz words but of course it happens from time to time and reviewing some of my posts there are a few words that need definition

THIS LINK takes you to a list of acronyms used.

Why is Abbreviation such a long word?

It still isn't registering

Come on brain - I sometimes have the brain speed of Homer Simpson. I've just written off to lots of people I know to tell them the news and I am not upbeat about it at all. It is all matter of fact and I'm not leaping around punching the air or any of the other things that I thought I might do.

I've probably spent so much time downplaying my chances so as not to be disappointed that the shock of getting a good end of term report has quite shocked me. No straight "A"s but with a bit more effort on both parts that is achievable.

Perhaps I have now glimpsed the beginning of the end or the light at the end of the tunnel. I've only seen this last 9 months as the worst period of my life and hadn't expected to start to come out of the other side quite so soon or quite so fast. I've hoped and I suppose I've taken some serious knocks along the way - the second operation and losing my job were two further kicks in the teeth I could have done without. But hey, this is good news and yet others are more pleased than I am about it.

It is damn strange me wanting to be free of this and working towards getting well again and then when I get some encouragement I blink hard and find it difficult to believe.

I sound ungrateful but I'm not. I'm certain that these are the tricks an illness like this plays on you. You just don't trust things and you need double assurances. Perhaps grasping for straws too early and being let down means you are just that much more cautious. I'm cautiously optimistic and yet, if all is clear there is light at the end of the tunnel - it is long term and we are probably talking about 10 years of treatments (maintenance) and flexible cystoscopy examinations before getting an all clear and, nasty little thing that BC is, it can come back and you start all over again.

There is no pleasing some people - I think I just turned into "Some People" :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dare I believe the news?

I still can't believe that things may now be OK. I'm still stunned and I can't believe that I heard it properly. I'm hedging my bets and waiting until I hear from my Specialist in a few weeks time, with the evidence with the staging and with the next steps.

I really still don't know whether to scream it out loud or just sit back and wait. I can feel the stupid grin beginning to crack across my face already.

The Yukky Bits

Well there had to be some blood and gore I suppose. Fortunately the bleeding (in urine) only lasted overnight and so that was a relief. I think it was a few days last time and about a week the first time and then I managed to do myself a mischief later. It is always disturbing especially as there are bits in it but, at least this time I knew that it would be so. It doesn't make it any easier because it is such an unnatural experience.

I'm still taking it easy. I caught myself running up the stairs earlier and I really shouldn't do that. It goes back to the "how do you feel" and also that you can't see or feel any surgery (no scars or stitches) you have had so it lulls you into a false sense of security. For the next 5 days or so, everyone else knows best and I SHOULD listen to them. I really do feel fine now apart from the aches and pains around my middle and certain other somewhat swollen areas shall we say :-)

Anyway - yukky bits are over for the moment. It looks as if I have the next round of yukky bits to come if and when they prescribe the next course of BCG which (very much looks like) has worked on the initial areas.

Pulled and pushed and poked about

Judging by the aches and twinges and an oblong of missing hair on my leg (ouch - it looks like a 6x4 elastoplast has been ripped off my leg) - they sure did pull me around.

My stomach, back and legs ache so I guess that is dragging me forwards and backwards on and off the trolley and getting the cystoscope where it needed to go. That's painful just thinking about it :-)

Oh yes, that is painful too - imagine getting kicked there but it taking a few days to get the bruises out. Sorry I can't be more graphic than that but it is uncomfortable rather than painful and there is a fair amount of "holding breath" goes on when going to the toilet. It takes a few days to get back to comfortable and about a week afterwards things should be OK.

Scar Wars IV – A Scrape in Time

Scar Wars IV – A Scrape in Time
(Cue Music)
Episode IV
Our hero, captured by the NHS Guard is held imprisoned at their secret Headquarters cunningly disguised as a Hospital.
Stuffed full of Pills, brain altered through hypnotherapy he tries to escape from the evil clutches of Dr. Catheter and her foul band of followers, Captain Cannula, Sergeant Ivy Drip, Naughty Night Nurse (Yea I wish!) and Volunteer Trolley.
Can our hero escape, are the walls too high, are the steaks too rare, will the car park be empty, does anyone care?
Why am I asking you?

Light Sabres ready?
Underpants over your trousers?
Read on – if you dare…….

It was different this time. It was an early morning start, The Hypno stuff kicked in nicely and anyone who knows what a wimp I really am would be surprised as they only needed one herd of stampeding Elephants to get me in. Well no – I walked in fine and I amazed myself.

The evening before had been interesting as I wasn’t my usual bag of nerves and being hypnotised and also having some drugs to control blood pressure and heart rate were also a godsend as I was so much calmer this time walking in. I had even managed a good 5 ½ hours sleep – unheard of.

All that changed though. They looked at the list and I wasn’t on the morning list. I was on the afternoon list! Heart sinking like a stone we were about to leave but were asked to stay. 3 ½ hours later they allocated me a bed and so I was able to get ready, in some form. The wait had been almost unbearable but I listened to my MP3 player intently and just switched off – in my own little world. A real annoyance is that the have placed a water machine in the admissions lounge. I hadn’t had a drink since the night before and all I could see were people coming in and filling their cups and the water bottle gurgling. Another mind trick devised by the NHS without anyone thinking of the way it pisses off their customers.

There is nothing quite like having nothing more to concentrate on than having your operation. Have people at the NHS never had this experience? If they had they would surely change the system – no one “wants” to be there. So after settling in, getting changed and doing the obligatory measurements (NO not that one) I was fitted with my rather fetching DVT socks, Operating Gown (hello Cheeky) and placed on my pre op bed slider etc. I then had the rest of the time remaining to lay down, listen to music and look out of the window and contemplate the upcoming proceedings.

As is always the case when you are on “Nil by Mouth” the food trolley and drinks trolley come around, some one pokes their head in and then see the card and says “sorry”. The waft of food and clinking of tea cups soon gave way to a quiet period and I was settling back when about 2 pm the Registrar arrived to “consent me”. This is the form that agrees for them to operate, take appropriate action, turn you into an Arsenal supporter, have possession over your immortal soul and many other caveats and small print that you haven’t the time or the inclination to read thoroughly and that provide the team with a get out for everything including nuclear war, earthquake and political upheaval – all the things a standard insurance policy will not give. Acts of God included.

The registrar described the procedure. I have to tell you I questioned just about everything he said. The way he was talking this could be worse than the first or second operations. 2 days catheterization, possible puncture of the bladder wall! Jeeps what were these guys going to do to me – I thought it was a few biopsies – he was talking re re-sectioning and I had that last time. I did mention that and he said it was a "maybe" and a "worst case scenario". I started to prepare myself for a repeat performance of the previous operations. I had a totally different view on what they were going to do but, I had to be ready to wake up in the state I was in last time.

Having signed the form a few minutes later the porters arrived to take me to theatre. I was a bit surprised as I hadn’t seen the anaesthetist and so I grabbed a copy of the notes I made about my meds and took those down to theatre with me.

The banter was interesting the Assistant Anaesthetist was chatting to the porters about their tattoos and wondering whether it hurt. There was a sort of general consensus about whether it did or it didn’t and the upshot was that where the tattoo went over a bony part that it did. That decided - and me looking to find another piece of paint drying - I finally got wheeled in to theatre. We squared away the meds I was on, sorted out which hand to stick the cannula and, as always, I got the blunt one again! This was really the only point at which I felt anxious and I did some deep breathing until they put in some mild pain killers and then that was it. Off to the land of Nod.

I remember coming too and being very pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have a catheter in place. No drips, no water bags – I was even reasonably conscious.

I was wheeled back to the ward where I finally got some water. I had been gone just 1 ½ hours and of that 30 minutes were spent before I got into theatre and I reckon I hadn’t been in for more than 10 or 15 minutes.

I was told that I could go home if I could pee normally and so I started drinking loads of water. Knowing what it was like last time, I decided that the best strategy was to show them a good jug full. WRONG! No they wanted a series of these – If I’d have known that I would have worked on a series of smaller ones. Of course last time I did that they weren’t happy and did bladder scans. We now come back to not being allowed to drink for what must have been close to 18 hours by then. I had no drip to hydrate me and so I was drinking litres of water at a time. The upshot was that it took me hours to produce the required quantity and yet if I had managed to show them a steady series I could have got out earlier. In the urology ward I think things would have been different but there you go. I got out at about 10 p.m.

The Specialist saw me and was very upbeat. A very small area that was suspicious, which was TURBT and taken away for analysis and a series of biopsies on the original and other areas. The view that they had was that apart from the one tiny area everything else looked fine. In a few weeks they might be able to downgrade. I might have to do the BCG again but (hey) that isn’t so bad.

Right now, I am coming to terms with what that means. I think it may be too early to break out the Champagne but perhaps a small celebration might be in order? Hey, why not a big celebration? I think it will take a little time to sink in, part of me is saying it is great news - the best, another part is saying that it is a little disappointed that not all of it was got. Another bit, unheard until writing this says something entirely different - it has to be good news as if they had upgraded rather than downgraded then you would be in trouble. It's like when people win something and they say "it hasn't sunk in yet!" I know exactly what they mean - I don't know whether to laugh or cry, run screaming out into the woods or what. I am very pleased though - relieved and pleased.

News - some good some bad

But - on the whole it is all good news so far.

Bad News:

  • They had my appointment wrong I should have been late morning - I could have ate and I could have had some drink (more later on why that was important)
  • There was s small area they had to TURBT but it must have been small as I was not catheterised

Good News:

  • Apart form a very small area everything else looks good and should be downgraded in a few weeks
  • No Catheter - you cannot believe how much better you feel when you haven't had one
  • Home in a day
  • I was a lot better than I normally am

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I am home - I am OK

What a day - what a day..

I'm home, I'm tired, I'm going to bed but I am fine. More later.

Less than an hour to go now

I've had my shower and I am just going through my check list of things. I have to be at the Hospital at 7:45 meaning about 7:15 away from here, getting parked and then walking into to the admissions lounge. I do hope that they are not showing Casualty or ER like they did last time I was there. Either these people have an advanced sense of the ridiculous or they are sadists. I think they had one of those programmes last time live from some hospital and frankly it did nothing for my nerves. I remember turning the damn thing off when someone left the room.

For the first time I'll have already had my assessment and so it will be straight onto the ward without all the medical staff fussing over me.

It seems quite strange me calmly sitting here at the PC when all the other times I have been sat here but playing solitaire or tertis or some such thing with my headphones on and locked away from the world. Today I'm the opposite to that.

Actually Slept

A first - a reasonable and quite creditable 5 hours sleep. I listened to some music and then went to sleep. Had some strange dreams but not too upsetting - all were about different experiences of what today will bring.

Woke a few times but other than that - it hasn't been too bad. I've had my tablets with a tiny amount of water and I'm just going off now to have a shower and start to get myself ready for the rest of today.

I don't feel the normal dread - nor do I feel anything approaching it. A little apprehensive of course - but otherwise OK.

114/79/65 - that will do nicely :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Nice to get some phone calls of support this evening and I'm still feeling OK. A little bit "quiet" but OK nonetheless. I thought I was going to go into one of my shells for the evening but that hasn't happened.

Everyone else has gone to bed - I am just watching a film and having a last drink. I can then do the last few minutes of checking I have everything and then be ready for the morning.

I'm just surprised I am still keeping it all together.